Thursday, 17 January 2013

Surviving 2013 - Part 2. The Tools!

Following from my last post I wanted to share with you the setup I use for getting work done. Of course it's based on GTD and follows a couple of principles:

  • I don't DO email, I PROCESS it. The two are quite different - the purpose of processing email is to clarify whether it contains something to do, something to be filed, or something to bin.
  • There are many more sources of potential tasks beyond email (eg meetings, phone calls, and even  my own occasional ideas!). I want a system to gather them all together
  • The email inbox is like a toddler - it wants constant attention, and continually distracts you from what you want to be doing. Sometimes harsh medicine is called for - leave it alone for a while! Seriously I am the world's worst person for constantly checking to see if new email has come in to distract me. Consequently keeping my email inbox and my workflow system separated from each other helps keep me focussed
At the core of my system are two tools:

Toodledo. This handles my Workflow Management. It is not quite a "pure" GTD system, but comes close enough for my purposes. I manage my day from here, and ensure that tasks arising from email and all other sources are passed into my Toodledo Inbox, from where they can be classified into one of several GTD-style lists (eg Actions, Someday/Maybe, Waiting, etc) and a context applied (I tend to use only 3 - @work, @home, @errands).

Evernote. This is my Reference Store of stuff that I may want to refer to again at some point in the future. I use this for things to read, clips from the web, scanned documents, meeting notes, business receipts, recipes, etc)

Around these two I deploy a number of tools to help things get into my workflow from either a PC or iPad/iPhone. It's taken quite a lot of research and trial/error to get to this point, so I'm happy to share this all with you in the hope that your journey might be quicker. Do let me know how you get on.

More details, as well as links to a number of tools and resources are contained in the slideshare below.


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Joanne Burek said...

Thanks for showing your setup. I dropped Evernote when I found I couldn't access anything on my iPod Touch unless I had an internet connection, and I didn't want to pay for a subscription. Maybe I should look into it again. You mentioned a few things I haven't tried (Appigo, iThoughts) which I will look into.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done. Thank you.

Tomerun said...

Great overview and one of the only ones I found on the web which is close to how I think and the system I'm creating for myself, after understanding that it's best to separate Evernote and Toodledo each to it's own strength, and also realizing Toodledo is so customizable and there is no need to go keep on looking all the time for a "better" app.
3 things if I may:
1) it seems from you evernote slide as if you are suggesting that Evernote has tags while Toodledo doesn't (which of course is not true. I use tags a lot in toodledo)
2) for toodledo workflow on ios I can recommend Pocket Informant - great layout with calender and evernote integrations as well.
3) IFTTT offers now some amazing synchronization options between toodledo-evernote-calendar. Highly recommended.


KimberHM said...

Very much appreciate your time and effort to share what's worked for you.

KimberHM said...

Very much appreciate the time and effort to share what's worked for you.